A few days ago, we spoke to a crypto fund manager who likes to gamble. He uses machine learning and other technology to maximize his profit. And that got me thinking...
It's no secret that Bitcoin and other blockchain technology has revolutionized online gambling. It's almost hard to find a sportsbook that doesn't accept cryptocurrency these days. Fast, secure, cheap payments are a godsend in such a high-risk industry (pun kind of intended).
Whether you like to put it all on your favorite football team, sit down at the virtual felt, or just roll some digital dice, it's all possible with Bitcoin. Heck, some books even let you bet on the next pope.
And some people don't like that. They say gambling is universally problematic and dangerous. They might even rip on crypto for making wagers easier.
And yes, gambling addiction is a very real problem for some people. But I thought it might be interesting to remind ourselves of the risks we all take every day. Even the haters do these things.
To be clear, I'm not here to pass judgement one way or the other today. I just want to share some observations. These are things we do every single day. And they're incredibly risky.
Will the stock market go up? Possibly. Down? Possibly. Even if you don't trade stocks every day, you probably still have some sort of investment account that you try not to check too often. And that's a risk.
Sure, the odds of busting out with a diversified portfolio seems to be quite low, but you never really know. Own a house? That's a gamble. Bonds? ETFs? Cash? Gold? All of them could lose value tomorrow.
We all witness horribly battered vehicles surrounded by flashing blue lights on a fairly regular basis. Accidents aren't guaranteed to happen to everyone. They're not guaranteed to be deadly. But there's always that chance.
The odds of you dying on the road might not be huge, but the stakes sure are. (The stakes are your life, in case that wasn't clear.)
This one is kind of the opposite of the driving gamble. The odds of losing are incredibly high. Insurance companies make money because on average, people pay more for insurance than they collect from insurance claims.
But the stakes are relatively small. Most people can afford to pay (lose) the cost of insurance without too much hassle. And they willingly pay because it's eliminates the risk of a surprise bill for thousands of dollar in case of an accident.
Drivers aren't the only travelers who stand a chance to get seriously injured (or worse). Pedestrians get hit all the time.
Did that minimum-wage McDonald's employee cook your burger enough? Will the cholesterol in that steak end up prematurely introducing you to your maker? Was your lettuce washed right?
All of those risks are extremely real. If a food item is not prepared right or not very healthy, it could lead to serious illness, chronic illness, or death.
But we're adults here. We take in what information we can, weigh the odds, and place our wagers every day.
Breaking the Law
Don't even try to lie. You've driven faster than the speed limit. You just have. Everyone has.
Did you get in trouble for it? Maybe. Maybe not. You chose to gamble and so does everyone else. Either you got away with it or you got extorted. It's just the way of life.
And that's all I have for now, folks. If you hate gambling, just remember you do it every single day. And the stakes can be huge.